What does "dancing" bring up for you?
Memories of crazy nights at the dance clubs with friends?
Dread? Embarrassment? Resistance?
Envy or sadness because you would love to be a better dancer but just aren't?
A sense of aliveness and sensuality?
A few days ago, Embodied Dance coach Akari Takahashi posted this question in a facebook group:
I'm brainstorming a lot of videos to post for every Monday and Friday regarding dance, body confidence, and self expression. I'm curious to know what you struggle with or questions when it comes to dancing, self expression/artistic expression, and or feeling juicy good.
And as I reflected on this question, I realized that I have some serious inner conflict and limiting beliefs around dancing, specifically around women dancing. Here's how I responded to her question:
What Akari teaches her clients is a DIRECT solution to these types of inner conflicts and baggage around embodied self-expression, especially for women.
There are so many different forces trying to control female bodies and their AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL, and NATURAL sensual expression, and each one generates an equal and opposite reaction of rebellion.
Here's how that might play out for you:
- You get religious or otherwise moralizing messages to be modest with your body and cover up so you're not so sinfully tempting, and then you (1) either conform accordingly (don't want to invite unwanted attention, do I?) or (2) rebel by dressing in a revealing way, because the way other people react to your body is their responsibility, not yours, so they need to learn to DEAL WITH IT.
- You feel pressure from social media to make your body VERY visible and available for objectification (because that's getting all the attention and "likes" these days), so you (1) create content accordingly for validation or (2) you rebel by rejecting "being sexy" or "being beautiful" as a virtuous endeavor.
- You see how people sexualize women who dance and move in sensual ways, and so you either (1) dance and move that way to get that sexual validation, or (2) rebel by never giving them the pleasure of seeing you in your full sensual expression (and in the process, you potentially lose touch with that side of yourself completely)
In all the validation-seeking and rebellion, it's so easy to lose sight of what WE actually want to experience and express through our own bodies and sensuality for OURSELVES.
We also, unfortunately, can end up judging the way other women seem to be handling these conflicting messages. There are, of course, women who dress the way they dress and dance the way they dance (or don't) for reasons that have nothing to do with validation-seeking or rebellion; they are just doing what feels good to them. (Keep it up, sister!).
And don't even get me started about how dance and sensual movement among men has been repressed with unnecessarily rigid ideas of "masculinity", and what that repression is probably costing all of us....
All I know is that for me, it's all mixed up and tangly and I'm just now realizing what that disconnection from embodied movement is costing me. It makes me wonder:
What would we be doing with our bodies if no one was telling us what to do with them?
The reactivity to cultural pressures seems to be keeping so many of us (myself most definitely included) subconsciously trapped in a no-win situation of either (1) conforming to the pressures, or (2) rebelling to prove a point, both of which draw energy away from what I actually want: to feel safe to move and express myself through my body -- in dance, or in sex -- that continually increase my own confidence, pleasure, and freedom.
Thank goddess for Akari -- this is what she helps women learn to do.
In this interview with Akari, you'll learn:
- How dancing builds body confidence
- The difference between performative dance and embodied dance
- How you can use specific types of sounding, breathing, and movement every day to become more grounded in your body as a dancer (and a lover!)
Connect with Akari to learn more